“I know Eric Dickerson is feeling so good right now.”
Running back Adrian Peterson
It was almost a cliché, but it turned into a great ironic ending.
I’m not talking about a movie, but yesterday’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings needed a win in the last regular game of the season to make the playoffs, and their running back Adrian Peterson had a shot breaking the single season rushing record that’s stood for almost 30 years. (Held by Eric Dickerson when he played for the Los Angeles Rams.)
Add to the back story that exactly a year ago Peterson tore his ACL on his left knee in a game that required surgery. Then factor in that with under two minutes to go in the game with the score score tied and the Vikings having the ball, Peterson only needed 39 yards to break the record.
Peterson got in a couple short runs and then ran for 26 yards on his final run, but fell nine yards short of the record. Dickerson can revel in his long standing accomplishment (his glorious feat) at least one more year.
But Peterson’s run did set up the game winning field goal and the Vikings are in the playoffs. He failed to reach his personal goal, but did help his team accomplish their goal.
It’s that kind game, that kind of unpredictable drama that I believe writer/director Woody Allen meant when he said if he had to chose between watching movies and watching sports he’d chose watching sports.
Though I live in Northeast Iowa where the region is divided between Packer and Viking fans, I’m just a guy from Florida who wanted to see a good game (and to watch a great comeback story as Peterson went for the record).
If I had a dog in the fight it had to do with the above photograph in my office. I took the photo back in 1985 when I was fresh out of film school and working for Yary Photography in Southern California.
The photo is of the 1985 LA Rams a year after Dickerson’s record season. The photo has extra meaning for me in that the following year I was working for a production company in Burbank as a 16mm cameraman & editor and one day got to go to Dickerson’s Calabasas, California home for a shoot and took the 16″X20″ print and had him sign it. Just two days ago I took that framed Rams photo off my office wall as I am preparing to move back to Florida next month.
While I plan to keep a presence and clients in Iowa (in fact I have projects lined up here through April), I will be based back in Central Florida where I’ve lived the majority of my life. (And, yes, the blog will still be Screenwriting from Iowa…and Other Unlikely Places.)
When I came to Cedar Falls in the summer of 2003 it was supposed to be for three months. It’s been a heck of journey that I never would have guessed would last almost ten years.
Tonight I’ll give a toast to not only a Happy New Year, but one for the past decade in Iowa. At least, I won’t be leaving town empty-handed.
P.S. In that Rams team photo is Chuck Scott on the second row from the bottom on the far right . He was a rookie in ’85 and a second round draft pick out of Vanderbilt. My claim to football fame is I played high school football with Chuck at Lake Howell in Florida. He was a year behind me and a second team all-conference wide receiver and I was first team wide receiver. “All glory is fleeting,”*right? A lesson learned on the football field as well as the battlefield. And no stranger to Hollywood (i.e. The Artist) as well. BTW—Brandon Marshall who now plays for the Chicago Bears, and actor Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) also played wide receiver at Lake Howell.
* “For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”
Gen. George C. Patton